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Civil partnerships future looks bleak as numbers plummet after gay marriage law

06 Jul 2018

Posted in Family Law

Civil partnerships look to be consigned to history by the Government as figures indicate the union has been virtually wiped out by the introduction of same-sex marriage in recent years.

Like all good law firms in London, we at Pindoria Solicitors were intrigued to hear the Equalities Office announce that it would consult on the future of civil partnerships.

Whilst it is certainly worthy of note, in many ways people will not be too surprised, as recent legal events have very much derailed the once lauded civil partnership, which was such an important step for same sex couples in the eyes of the law.

A document published in May sets out plans for a new consultation to assess whether there is enough demand among same-sex couples since the law allowed them to get married in March 2014.

There has been a significant fall in the number of civil partnerships, which are only open to gay couples.

Civil Partnership

While 6,305 were registered on average each year between 2007 and 2013, the number fell to 890 in 2016 with a low of 861 registered in 2015.

Apparently, the Government has asked the Office for National Statistics to include questions about civil partnerships as part of its Opinions and Lifestyle Survey.

Civil partnerships were introduced not so long ago, only back in 2004, to allow same-sex couples access to legally-recognised unions before the law changed to allow same sex marriage in 2014.

A Government Equalities Office spokesman said, in recent weeks: “The Government introduced civil partnerships as a way of recognising same sex relationships before same sex marriage was available. We are proud to have now introduced same sex marriage.”

Although the law is slow in many areas, in recent years the rights of same sex couples have advanced greatly. It means that the civil partnership will probably be looked back on as a stop gap at a time when laws surrounding sexuality were clearly gathering momentum after many years of frustration and anger.

We at Pindoria Solicitors believe it is healthy for society that in this area of the law there has been great advancements, when we frequently bemoan archaic rules and regulations not fit for 2018.

We will watch the subject of civil partnership with interest as the months and years ahead unfold and always welcome change, so long as it is healthy for our society.